Talk, Macroecology meets Biogeography - 9th Annual meeting of the Specialist Group on Macroecology & Jahrestagung AK Biogeographie, Trier: 2016-03-15 - 2016-03-17
Scale-dependence is still one of the major topics in ecology. Ecosystem responses to environmental stressors are believed to be scale-dependent. However, projections about future climate change effects on biodiversity are still restricted to certain scales with lacking knowledge about scale-dependence of ecological patterns and processes. Here we propose that strong cross-scale links between micro- and macro-environmental drivers and low environmental noise on small spatial scale will go along with high cross-scale similarity (low scale-dependence) of ecological patterns. We therefore combined information of species spatial occurrence with information about the corresponding temperature regime of vascular plant species occurring in environmentally stable, wetland ecosystems characterized by tight cross-scale links micro- and macroclimatic conditions. We observed high cross-scale similarity of species temperature niche characteristics across the seven orders of magnitude of investigated spatial scale ranging from local to continental scale. However, the importance of temperature as abiotic driver decreased non-linearly with decreasing scale, suggesting a higher importance of additional (biotic) drivers of species occurrence on small spatial scales. By increasing general understanding about scale-dependence of species temperature niches our results will help to improve niche-based species distribution modelling, one of the major assessment-tools for ecological climate change effects.